Skip to main content

Greeting to all.  It is time from another one of these photo diary things.  I hope you enjoy your visit here.

Lanikai
The Mokuluas

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is a highly endangered animal with a population estimated at less than 1,200 and decreasing by approximately 4% per year. Counterintuitively their population is actually increasing in the main Hawaiian Islands but collapsing in the remote Northwestern islands under the protection of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
A Suspicious Eye

Reasons for their population decline in the NW islands include high infant mortality due to predation by sharks, and entanglement in marine debris, but the main factor seems to be simple starvation of pups due to poorly understood causes. Possibilities include competition from the abundance of large apex predators, including large jacks and sharks, and changes in ocean productivity.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Hi!

Recent management proposals include relocating some pups from the Northwest Islands to the Main Hawaiian Islands where survival rates are higher. This proposal is facing opposition including from some in the native Hawaiian community, usually fishermen. There is a wide range of opinion about monk seals in the Hawaiian community as documented in THIS report.

While some consider them welcome and natural parts of the Hawaiian environment,  some native people consider the seals invasive, akin to the pesty mongoose, because mention of the seals is rare, if not absent in Hawaiian lore.  Scientists consider it likely that after Polynesians arrived in the main islands the seals were eradicated by hunting by the Polynesians and harassment by their dogs. In the 19th century intense hunting by newly arrived Europeans in the remote Northwest Islands nearly completed the task. In a sense the seals are new arrivals in the main islands after a six hundred or more year absence.  Of course before that they had been here for as long as the main islands themselves have been in existance, several million years.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Chilled Out

I was lucky enough to dive with these amazing creatures on a trip to the waters off of Ni'ihau, a privately owned island southwest of Kauai.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Playful!

Female monk seals are larger than makes and can reach eight feet long and 600 pounds.  Dainty they ain't.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Monachus schauinslandi

And now on to a variety of other photos:
Black Coral
Black Coral
As you see here living black coral is not black.  The name comes from the polished "skeleton" of the coral branches.  Black coral is the "state gem" of Hawaii but the state is not adequately protecting this disappearing resource.  Any black coral with a base diameter over 3/4" can be taken.  Ni'ihau is the only place I have seen any black coral at diving depths.  This photo of a small colony was taken at 110 feet.

Frigate Attacking Brown Booby
Attack!
This is a great frigate attacking a brown booby.  In Hawaiian the great frigate is called the 'Iwa, which means thief from this feeding stategy known as kleptoparasitism.

2011Sep03_0847
Lehua Rock
This is a dive site known as Vertical Awareness.

Na Pali
Na Pali Coast, Kauai
As with most of the giant sea cliff in Hawaii this is the remnant of a monsterous landslide. These large volcanic islands are not stable and a normal part of their evolution are these collapses where huge volumes of rocks slide off into the ocean. Fortunately they only happen about every 250,000 years.

Tiger Cowry
Tiger Cowries
Looks like somebody has been spilling paint. The colors are from encrusing sponges and corals.

Octopus
Octopus
After getting to see these critters diving I can not eat Tako Poke ever again.

Mast
The Mast
Sorry I am going to be short of words from here on out....

2011Sep17_0266
A Happy Honu

2011Sep17_0358
Spooky!

2011Sep17_0152
Looking Up from Eighty Feet

2011Sep17_0340
Frogfish

2011Sep17_0192
Our Friend Gramps!
Still hangin out

The end of August saw the biggest south swell Hawaii has seen in at least a decade.  Here are some shots of the big surf.  (Of course the surf gets far larger on the north shore in the winter but this is big for "town".
2011Aug30_0950

Bowls

Sandys

A couple more from the wreck dive known as the Mahi:

2011Sep17_0130

2011Sep17_0171

And I will leave you with a Moonrise over the Mokuluas.

Moonrise

Everyone have a great evening and please be good humans!  Aloha

Originally posted to Haole in Hawaii on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Photography.

Poll

Well

30%122 votes
11%46 votes
9%38 votes
5%22 votes
2%10 votes
6%27 votes
6%26 votes
5%22 votes
6%28 votes
4%20 votes
4%17 votes
6%26 votes

| 405 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site